As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a South Korean company has come up with a new mask design that they say allows users to dine comfortably while wearing it — but it has more than a few people raising their eyebrows.
The “Kosk” — a combination of “ko,” the Korean word for “nose,” and the word “mask” — has attracted a lot of attention online for its … um …. unique design.
The two-piece PPE is designed to allow the bottom half of the mask to be folded up when eating and drinking, leaving just the nose covered.
Since its release, social media users have been poking fun at the unusual-looking mask, both for how it looks when the user is wearing it, as well as questioning the mask’s ability to actually protect from the airborne coronavirus.
Some studies, however, have found that COVID-19 most easily enters the body through the nose, so maybe wearing a nose mask is actually a good idea?
Professor Catherine Bennett, the chair in epidemiology with Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation in Australia, told Nine News that the Kosks are a “strange idea” but would be “better than nothing.”
“It probably makes a marginal difference,” she said.
One Twitter user pointed out the Kosk is basically the equivalent of people who don’t wear their face masks over their nose. Masks worn this way are sometimes referred to as “chin diapers.”
The design comes from South Korean mask manufacturer Atman, who is selling the masks online for approximately $1 per mask.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time a nose mask has been peddled during the pandemic.
Last year, Mexican researchers designed a mask meant to only cover the nose.
According to Reuters, the mask was meant to be worn under a regular mask, to offer extra protection when the top mask is removed to eat or drink.
Throughout the pandemic, epidemiology experts around the globe have reminded citizens that multiple layers of mask protection are best, and always recommend that masks be worn to cover the entire nose, mouth and chin area.